After Sharon Olds “I Go Back to May 1937”

I see them standing at the nuptial threshold before their witnesses
She sees her groom smiling
at the verge of the nacre vault
the gloam blue waves climax like glistening
strands of diamonds behind his profile, He
sees his bride with a stargazer lily in her hair
standing at the fringe made of sand and stone,
the horizon still obscured all around her, its
white haze aglow in the July air,
they are about to wed, they are about to build a life,
they are young, they are hopeful, all they know is they are
naive, they would never break their promise to love
and protect each other.
I want to raise my hand from the gallery and say Hold On,
--she's the prophetess of courage ,
he's the king of tears, you are going to endure things
you cannot see, and do things that will terrify you,
you are going to explode into the theatre of the world,
you are going to sacrifice the innocence of children,
you are going to suffer in ways you cannot think of,
he's going to die--she's going to want to die. I want to call
out to them there in the late July afternoon glow and cry it,
her ravenous blue eyes turning to me,
her pathetic beautiful animal body,
but I don't do it. I want them to live this
day, cup my hand around the unity candle, to
curb the wind from the flame. I
clutch their hands like bride and groom
cake dolls and cinch the knot that binds them
at the marrow, like the rigging of divine ships, as if to
secure the load of gold in the
hold of their vessels, I say
answer to the calling of the love that
brings you life, and she will write about it.

About this poem: July 25th, 2022 marks thte 35th wedding anniversary of David and I. We wed on the lip of a Long Island cove, former land of the Massapequa branch of the Algonquin people, on a hazy, hot and humid July afternoon. Although the style of this piece was borrowed, the inspiration was bubbling in the dorm room of my writing retreat in Beverly, MA. All of the sensory, emotional, and situational elements are my own. My love for David and the sons we carried into the world is the legacy I have been assigned to carry and the gold I must share.

©: Deborah Garcia 2022, All rights reserved

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